There are so many reasons to stick this northern coastal town on your Sicilian holiday itinerary: not least the stunning 12th-century Norman cathedral, coated inside with magnificent Byzantine mosaics. Or the sun-bleached beaches, rolling away to the west. So, make a date with this historic beauty and stay overnight. Whether you fancy a discreet bolthole in the streets of the Old Town, or a resort on the sands with DJs playing, we’ve found the finest places to stay in Cefalù, Sicily, bookable on Culture Trip.
This grand white pile rests right on the seafront, 2km (1.2mi) east along the coast from photogenic Cefalù, with hypnotic views of the Med and hazy Aeolian Islands from nearly every room. The look is classic, with nautical touches – navy-striped throws, rattan armchairs and porthole-style mirrors. Head down to the rocky cove for dips in startlingly clear waters, then bag a spot on the sweeping stone terrace – barman Angelo mixes a kicky negroni as the sun melts into the sea.
There’s a touch of Miami Beach to this polished contemporary hotel with its floor-to-ceiling glass windows, minimalist rooms and lashings of Italian marble. In the summer, there’s a party vibe, with the rooftop terrace being the place for sundowners, settled into the sofas. There’s a small pool for dips, and Cefalù’s sweep of golden sand is just steps away. Within stumbling distance are restaurants and bars aplenty – try Enoteca Rossorubino for Sicilian vino and people-watching.
A world away from the busy honeypot of Cefalù is this leafy retreat among oak and ash trees – a winding 20-minute drive inland, in the hills of Parco delle Madonie. Rooms take their decorative cues from the bucolic surroundings, all soothing tones and terracotta floor tiles. There’s an impressive infinity pool in the woods and fine food to return to, post-swim: dinner in the glass-walled restaurant could be octopus salad, squid risotto and/or almond-rum tart.
Here’s a great-value hotel with a loyal following, thanks to its always-positive, can-do staff. The location is a draw, too – five minutes’ stroll gets you to the beach, 10 minutes to Cefalù’s higgledy-piggledy Old Town. Rooms are simple but spotless, with high ceilings and shades of pale yellow and mint. If history’s even remotely your bag, seek out the two small pyramids in one of the hotel courtyards – they are the remains of an ancient necropolis, founded c. 400 BCE.
Furnished in country style, its eight rooms may be simple – but this honeycomb-coloured hilltop farmhouse is a star, from its terracotta floor tiles to its polished-brass bedsteads. On the edge of Parco delle Madonie, it’s part of a working farm, surrounded by lemon and olive groves – and as the coast is just a couple of kilometres away, guests get wraparound sea views, especially from the shimmering infinity pool. A 15-minute car ride and you’re in Cefalù, but if you don’t fancy the steep road back up after dinner in town, stay in – the farmhouse cooks homely treats.
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Have a nose-around Cefalù’s postcard-pretty Old Town and you’ll soon find this chic bolthole – the perfect place to stay, with views over russet roof tiles to the neon-blue bay. The town’s bars and cafes are on your doorstep, so it’s easy to slip back into your Zen den – the hotel has eight rooms, in chilled tones of silver and white, with chromotherapy showers and pretty balconies for people-watching. Free private parking nearby is a bonus in this busy town.
This place is within Cefalù’s historic pedestrian-only zone, so parking is practically impossible. The hotel’s clever solution? Offer guests free parking off-site, then whisk them here by taxi. You’ll be so glad you came – the cosy bedrooms are elegantly furnished. If you need more space, book the terrace suite for its sweet blue-and-white tiled rooftop terrace overlooking the cathedral. Ready for dinner? Before stepping out into Cefalù, have an aperitif in the courtyard.
The words “family-run” and “beach resort with three restaurants” don’t tend to crop up in the same restaurant, but Le Calette is that special thing: owned and operated for 50 years by the same people, with bells and whistles including a glamorous spa and a chi-chi beach club where a DJ plays in the summer months. The ambience is relaxed and infectious, and the unexpected touches are truly charming – such as a secret path leading among prickly pears to Wild Cove, an unspoiled swimming hole. If you fancy heading into town, Cefalù’s historic centre is just 2km (1.2mi) away.